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HOGAN, BISCHOFF, DDP & MORE DISCUSS DENNIS RODMAN & KARL MALONE'S WCW JOURNEY - WWE UNTOLD RECAP

By Mike Johnson on 2020-03-25 11:15:00

The WWE Network’s latest edition of WWE Untold debuted on 3/22, focusing on NBA star Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone's foray into World Championship Wrestling.  Here is an overview and recap of the 28 minute broadcast, which featured sit-down interviews with Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Diamond Dallas Page and Rodman himself intersperced with WCW footage from 1997 and 1998:

It’s noted that WCW had gotten the attention away from WWE at the time and they were looking for something that WWE wasn’t doing, so they went into the celebrity component.  Bischoff said doing that brings in a ton of media coverage and the coverage itself helps gets the audience excited about it.

It’s noted that a year before Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone, already NBA rivals faced off in WCW, Rodman joined the NWO and teamed with Hulk Hogan a year before.  Hogan noted he was a monster and created chaos all over place when he appeared somewhere.

Bischoff noted they got Rodman a bus to help him travel as part of the deal to bring him into WCW and felt it was a good investment.  One night, Rodman wanted to go to a strip club and a good portion of the “high profile” members of the WCW roster went with him.  Bischoff noted that after a while, he realized Rodman was gone and went to a member of the WCW security team to ask about Rodman as it was time to get out of there.  He said that he thought Rodman was on the bus.  Bischoff went to the bus and there were guards outside the bus and asked him if he was sure he wanted to go on the bus.  Bischoff said he went on the bus and it “was a scene from Caligula” and knew it was going to be a long tour.

Rodman said if you heard stories about wrestlers in the 70s, 80s and 90s, they were out of control partying all day and night.  He said they liked him because he knew he could handle that.  Living in Texas when the Von Erichs were on TV, that’s all you watched, wrestling and the Dallas Cowboys.  He always wanted to wrestle and he was glad Bischoff asked him.

They showed footage of Rodman wrestling Lex Luger.  It was noted Rodman was trying to dress and act a way to get people mad at him.  Hogan said Rodman had a way to handle himself.  Rodman said that if they had social media back then, he’d be a “f***ing billionaire.”  

Hogan said when Rodman transcended into pro wrestling as a main eventer, the wrestlers hated it and wanted to see him to get his ass kicked more than the fans.  Rodman would be late to training sessions and showed up with booze on his breathe but when the “red light came on, he was genius.”

They showed some Hogan/Rodman promos.  Hogan said that Rodman was his friend but DDP bonded with Karl Malone. 

DDP noted he was invited to see The Rockets one night and they were playing the Utah Jazz.  He was excited to see Malone play.  Malone sees DDP and does the Diamond Cutter sign.  DDP and photographer Ross Forman (now an Impact Wrestling PR exec) pop huge.  Malone sends them passes to come in the back and they all meet.  They exchange numbers and DDP invited him that if he ever wanted to “get in the ring and play around a little bit”, Page could make that happen.

Rodman said that if you looked at Malone then, he looked like a wrestler physically.  When Page heard Rodman was coming back into WCW to wrestle again, Rodman did a great job and embodied what a heel should be.  That made him wonder if Malone would want to do this.  He called Malone and asked him if he’d considered tagging with DDP against Hogan and Rodman.  Malone said that he believed he would.

DDP went to Bischoff’s house (they lived two houses apart at the time) and threw the idea out.  Bischoff said he had to give DDP credit for bringing Malone into the picture.

Rodman said they were going hard and were being physical in the playoffs and people would be upset about it.  Bischoff said he knew that wrestling media would be critical of them being involved and sports media would think it would be beneath them, but it was publicity they couldn’t afford to buy.  Rodman said when you think about them facing off, what a match up.

The special then noted that for the second year in a row, their teams were facing off in the NBA Playoffs.  They showed footage of Rodman and Hogan attacking DDP on Nitro. 

Bischoff noted Rodman skipped a Chicago Bulls practice to do the Nitro appearance.  Bischoff said he knew it would cause ramifications but not for WCW since it was Rodman’s choice.  Hogan said Chicago Bulls Coach Phil Jackson was calling him asking where Rodman was.  Hogan told Rodman he had to go back and Rodman said he didn’t want to.  “All the line were blurred, “ claimed Hogan.  Rodman said nothing was said to him because he was always there to play when it came to being on the court.

Bischoff said that nothing was ever asked of Rodman and Malone in terms of doing something during the playoffs but it was “hinted, wink wink, nudge nudge” that if there was some sort of interaction or animated exchange during a time out or off the court, it would help their WCW PPV.  Rodman said if they could have a fight, they could make it more interesting for the NBA finals.

DDP said that when Rodman was involved in pro wrestling, it was seen as something else that Rodman did.  When Malone got involved, it was seen as a much different deal.  He noted Malone dreamed of being a pro wrestler growing up, not a professional basketball player.  He said pro wrestling is part of American culture, world culture.

They recapped the angle where Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff took over The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  Karl Malone told DDP he was going to be on the show whether they win or lose, so let’s shoot the angle on the Tonight Show.  They show clips of that angle courtesy NBC Universal.  Hogan said DDP had never really gotten his hands on Hogan, so it was his chance to get his hands on Hogan, but Hulk didn’t know he was going to do it “for real.”

DDP told a story of Drew Carey asking him later on if their interaction on the show was real, because it was so intense.

They showed footage of the press conference from Bash at the Beach 1998.  DDP said the media was lined up every year.  Page noted that Malone trained at the WCW Power Plant training facility for weeks.  Bischoff said training with Rodman, he didn’t have the same intensity towards it as Malone did for training but when the red light was on, he brought it.  Hogan said that Roman and Malone both “had it” as pro wrestlers.

Rodman said that the night before the PPV, he had been drinking and been out all night.  The first 15 minutes of the match, he felt like heel and wondered how wrestlers drank all night and did this every day.

Hogan noted that the place exploded when Malone came to the ring and he took his shirt on.  He thinks Rodman was intimidated because Malone looked so intimidating and jacked in the ring.  Hogan stated he was supposed to rip Rodman’s shirt off but Dennis told him not to do so.  Rodman is asked about that and said he didn’t do it because he wanted people “to see the shirt” and said he took it off after the match.

Rodman said Malone was “country boy strong.”  It was said their first lockup felt like a huge moment.  They showed Rodman spit at DDP.  Rodman said it wasn’t planned and DDP was a little “selfish b**ch” for a moment.  He said DDP hit him for real for a moment and he did it because it was easier to do that than anything else.  If he had grabbed a chair, it would have gotten really ugly.

Bischoff said that one of the things that impressed him with Malone is that Malone could make up with strength things that he didn’t have in experience, noting how he tossed Hulk Hogan around.  Hogan said he had never been thrown around by any other man, not even Andre the Giant, like he had been by Malone.  He said Malone was there and at peace in the ring and there were no problems with his positioning or physicality like “there was a mark in the ring.”

Rodman said Malone was hitting him hard.  When Malone nailed him with the Diamond Cutter, Rodman thought, “Thank God this is over.”  They showed Hogan pin DDP after The Disciple interfered. 

Rodman said he was thankful they let them wrestle but wishes “they” had them do a lot more that summer between he and Malone.  They had “us doing some cool interesting things” but wishes they had done a match themselves or maybe something with others, naming Randy Savage.

Bischoff said having names at that level in the ring with a huge star like Hulk Hogan, that may be the type of thing that never happened before any may never happen again.  It’s something he’s really proud of.

Hogan said knowing they pulled it off makes him smile ear to ear.

DDP said that looking back at celebrities involved in wrestling, now we have a wing in that Hall of Fame.  Malone needs to be in that wing.  He didn’t mention Rodman!

Rodman joked Malone kicked his ass in the ring but The Bulls won the NBA title that year, so that’s OK and that’s the story.

A fun 28 minute overview of the major personalities involved, with the exception of Malone.

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